A spokesman for Engen, which operates the refinery, said he would comment later in a statement.
According to Engen’s website, the Durban plant has a crude refining capacity of 120,000 barrels per day (bpd). It was not immediately clear if there was any impact on the refinery’s production.
Residents say the explosion happened early in the morning as children were preparing for school, local media reports. Eyewitnesses who shared the incident on Twitter said the explosion started shortly after 7am local time,
The country’s third-biggest crude oil refinery, a 100,000 bpd facility operated by Astron Energy in Cape Town, was also rocked by an explosion earlier this year.
It is unclear at this time if there are any casualties